Caves in Context: The Cultural Significance of Caves and Rockshelters in Europe [Hardback]

Knut Andreas Bergsvik (Editor); Robin Skeates (Editor)

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ISBN: 9781842174746 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2012 | Language: English 304p, 111 illus, 17 tables

Caves in Context


Caves in Context provides the thriving inter-disciplinary field of cave studies with a European-scale survey of current research in cave archaeology. It is unified by a contemporary theoretical emphasis on the cultural significance and diversity of caves over space and time. Caves and rockshelters are found all over Europe, and have frequently been occupied by human groups, from prehistory right up to the present day. Some appear to have only traces of short occupations, while others contain deep cultural deposits, indicating longer and multiple occupations. Above all, there is great variability in their human use, both secular and sacred. The aim of this book is to explore the multiple significances of these natural places in a range of chronological, spatial, and cultural contexts across Europe. The volume demonstrates, through a diversity of archaeological approaches and examples, that cave studies, whist necessarily focussed, can also be of significance to wider, contemporary, archaeological research agendas, particularly when a contextual approach is adopted. The book is also of relevance to other scholars working in the related fields of speleology, earth sciences, landscape studies, and anthropology, which together comprise the inter-disciplinary field of cave studies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Caves in context: an introduction (Knut Andreas Bergsvik and Robin Skeates)

The British Isles and Scandinavia
Chapter 2: From Assynt to Oban: some observations on prehistoric cave use in western Scotland (Clive Bonsall, Catriona Pickard and Graham A. Ritchie)
Chapter 3: Mesolithic caves and rockshelters in Western Norway (Knut Andreas Bergsvik and Ingebjørg Storvik)
Chapter 4: Rockshelters in central Norway: long-term changes in use, social organization and production (Anne Haug)
Chapter 5: On the outer fringe of the human world: phenomenological perspectives on anthropomorphic cave paintings in Norway (Hein Bjartmann Bjerck)

Iberia and France
Chapter 6: On the (l)edge: the case of Vale Boi rockshelter (Algarve, Southern Portugal) (Nuno Bicho, João Cascalheira and João Marreiros)
Chapter 7: The use of caves and rock shelters by the last Neanderthal and first Modern Human societies in Cantabrian Iberia: similarities, differences, and territorial implications (Javier Ordoño)
Chapter 8: La Garma (Spain): long-term human activity in a karst system (Pablo Arias and Roberto Ontañón)
Chapter 9: Shedding light on dark places: Deposition of the dead in caves and cave-like features in Neolithic and Copper Age Iberia (Estella Weiss-Krejci)
Chapter 10: The Bronze Age use of caves in France: reinterpreting their functions and the spatial logic of their deposits through the chaîne opératoire concept (Sébastien Manem)

The Central Mediterranean Chapter 11: Caves in Context: the late medieval Maltese scenario (Keith Buhagiar)
Chapter 12: Caves in need of context: prehistoric Sardinia (Robin Skeates)
Chapter 13: Discovery and exploratory research of prehistoric sites in caves and rockshelters in the Barbagia di Seulo, South-Central Sardinia (Giusi Gradoli and Terence Meaden)
Chapter 14: Notes from the underground: caves and people in the Mesolithic and Neolithic Karst (Dimitr? Mlekuž)

Central and Eastern Europe
Chapter 15: Cave Burials in Prehistoric Central Europe (Jörg Orschiedt)
Chapter 16: Late Caucasian Neanderthals of Barakaevskaya cave: chronology, palaeoecology and palaeoeconomy (Galina Levkovskaya, Vasiliy Lyubin and Elena Belyaeva)
Chapter 17: Interstratifi cation in layers of unit III at Skalisty rock shelter and the origin of the Crimean final Palaeolithic (Valery A. Manko)

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